Written by Jack McCarthy
Wednesday, 13 February 2013 00:00
Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner announced the hiring of Clayton Muhammad as the City of Aurora’s new Director of Communications. Muhammad, who currently serves as the Director of Community Relations and the District Spokesman of East Aurora School District 131, will take over later this month.
A lifelong Aurora resident, Muhammad is a community advocate and seasoned public relations professional whose techniques and initiatives have been recognized by the Illinois National School Public Relations Association (INSPRA) with multiple awards of excellence.
“Clayton is a proven leader who cares deeply about Aurora,” said Mayor Tom Weisner. “With crime down to record low levels, Aurora’s story is radically different today than it was a few years ago. People are beginning to take a fresh look at our city, and I believe Clayton brings the right combination of experience and enthusiasm to help us position Aurora as a great city in which to live, do business and raise a family.”
The city restructured its Public Information Division as part of the 2013 budget process late last year after the Mayor’s Business Roundtable recommended the development of strategic marketing communications plan as one of the top business priorities for 2013.
Muhammad will oversee day-to-day communications including media relations, public affairs, Aurora Community Television, digital and social media.
He will also spearhead the development of a city-wide marketing communications plan to support economic development, plus handle the coordination, management and implementation of various communication strategies across city departments.
“I am very excited and honored to serve Aurora in this capacity," Muhammad said. "There is a bevy of great things happening and even more on the horizon. We want to make sure that as many people as possible know about it, from residents in Aurora to people all over America."
During Muhammad’s tenure at East Aurora, he instituted a communications plan that resulted in a dramatic increase of print and television media coverage, substantial growth in the school district’s business partnership program, a revised website, a social media campaign that reaches thousands per day, a regular newspaper column and stronger internal and external communications of the district’s priorities, programs and positive news.
He's is a frequent keynote speaker and presenter at conferences, citywide programs, colleges and universities, school districts and community events throughout the country.
“Aurora is on the cutting edge in so many areas," Muhammad said. "The more I travel, the more I see just how unique and powerful our community is. Others are inspired by what is happening here. It’s exciting to be a part of an administration that is having a local, regional and national impact."
After graduating from East Aurora H.S. Muhammad matriculated to the University of Illinois and Lewis University as he pursued a career in education.
He began his career at Waldo Middle School as a sixth-grade teacher where he taught for three years. He then transitioned into administration as Vice President of the Quad County Urban League where he supervised the Aurora Middle School Academy and all Urban League programs for four years. In 2004, he was appointed as District Spokesman of East Aurora School District 131.
“While his move is a loss for our district, I am personally happy to know that Aurora will gain an advocate for the entire city,” said East Aurora Superintendent Dr. Jerome Roberts.
The founder of the nationally-recognized Aurora-based Boys II Men organization, Muhammad has been recognized with more than 60 awards and commendations including being named an Administrator of Excellence by the Illinois National School Public Relations Association, one of the top 35 under 35 Young Leaders of Chicagoland, and a Community Champion by the Compassion Foundation.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 February 2013 15:01